Pastor’s Corner – February 2020
In our lectionary readings for the last couple weeks we watched Jesus choose his disciples. As one who struggled with my sense of call to ministry for 30 years, I am amazed (and a little bit jealous) as I see the disciples drop everything and immediately follow Jesus in what has been called “radical discipleship.” Youth doesn’t always appreciate the consequences of their choices; instead, they usually discover this much later. How does one know when one is called, and (most important) to what ministry one is called? When in doubt, I always go to my favorite resource, “Crazy Talk” for the answer.
Vocation: The thing you do that was given to you to do in the way you do for the benefit of those you are doing it for.
Got that? Vocation—Not to be confused with vacation (taking a break from things) or vacuation (getting stuff out of your system)—is the thing(s) you are called by God to do, with gifts and talents God has given you, to which you commit your passion and excitement and energy for the sake of God’s creation.
The word comes from a Latin term, vocare, meaning “calling”— which implies a caller: God. God calls more than just pastors. God calls each of us, gives many gifts, and gives us a lift up by means of the Spirit. Actually, we all have more than one vocation. Our Christian vocations include our jobs, our roles as family members, our roles as friends, as neighbors, as citizens, and so on. Vocation is all about loving our neighbor and serving in God’s name.
Friends, we all are called by God for something. As a pastor friend of mine is fond of saying, “An inactive Christian is an oxymoron. In my last sermon I quoted Frederick Buechner who wrote, “The place God calls us to, is the place where our deep gladness and the world’s deepest hunger meet.” What is your greatest passion? Where does this intersect with the needs of the world? That’s where and to what God is calling you. Meeting people where they are. Taking an interest in who they are and what they most need in life. Guess what? This is the most effective evangelism. I challenge you all in 2020 to live this calling. This will build personal bridges with others, which Jesus can cross. Amen